Ukraine - WBO #3 rated lightweight Denys Berinchyk retained his WBO International lightweight title for the sixth time in a thrilling twelve-round slugfest versus former IBF 135lb title challenger Isa Chaniev via a unanimous decision.

Both combatants waited no time to start banging. Berinchyk, 33, showed effective footwork in the first but Chaniev, 29, was able to force fierce exchanges in the second. Berinchyk changed his stances and threw hard jabs but Chaniev shifted his punches and shuffled his offensive with awkward punches.

In the third, a major right hand had Chaniev slightly reeling and had something - maybe a tooth - flying out of his mouth. In the wild fifth, the initiative was taken back and forth between the two fighters. Berinchyk was the first to wobble the Russian but Chaniev came back later on to trouble the Ukrainian and to redden and hurt his nose.

In rounds six-to-eight Chaniev was setting traps and trying to counter Berinchyk on his assaults but nothing of not landed. In the ninth, both boxers fought in spurts but the 2012 London silver medalist was way more precise and considerably sharper than his foe. Berinchyk was an aggressor in the tenth and stalked Chaniev around the ring. The last two rounds were also for the Ukrainian, who finished the fight very strong and rocked Chaniev with 45 seconds to go.

With the win, the Ukrainian improves to 16-0, 10 KOs, while Chaniev goes down to 15-4, 7 KOs. Final scores were: 118-110, 118-111 and 116-112 - for the Ukrainian fighter.

Berinchyk vs. Chaniev was the main event of the evening in Brovary, Ukraine, arranged at the local ice palace Terminal by Alexander Krasyuk of the K2 Ukraine Promotions.


Heavyweight prospect Vladiyslav Sirenko (19-0, 16 KOs) has done something no one had been able to do before - including recently retired Russian top heavyweight Alexander Povetkin - by stopping durable fellow compatriot Andriy Rudenko for the first time in Andriy's career. The stoppage was however slightly controversial.

Sirenko, 26, and Rudenko, 38, engaged in a jabbing contest in the opening rounds. Sirenko tried to catch his veteran opponent with a right hand on Rudenko's way in but missed more than landed. Rudenko, a shorter but heavier of the two, tried to get inside but not to induce infighting. He was content to pressure Sirenko with his pure mass, to hold and to clinch excessively. He was warned for that in the third and deducted a point in the fourth.

In the fifth, Sirenko was able to create a gap between him and Rudenko. He sharp-shooted the veteran and landed some well-felt blow, though nothing dangerous. In the sixth the beating continued, until the referee suddenly stepped in to wave it off despite zero knockdown and Rudenko's willing to go on. Sirenko retained his WBC Asian Boxing Council and added the WBO Asia Pacific heavyweight title to his resume. Rudenko is now 34-6, with 20 KOs.


Former amateur standout Dmytro Mitrofanov (12-0-1, 6 KOs), now competing as a light middleweight, scored his first stoppage win in over two years when his Kazakhstani opponent Berikbay Nurymbetov (8-5-1, 3 KOs) retired on his stool after getting beaten for three quite one-sided rounds. Mitrofanov was rated #14 by the WBO at 154 lbs coming into this fight.


Rising Moldavian Ukraine-based welterweight prospect Vasile Cebotari (10-0, 3 KOs) was forced to work hard for a unanimous decision over upset-minded Kazakh opponent Sagadat Rakhmankul (8-3, 6 KOs), best known for his stoppage win over aging veteran Cosme Rivera in 2019.

Cebotari, 19, was boxing mostly outside but Rakhmankul was able to pin him to the ropes at times. The Moldavian fighter showcased certain defensive skills but lacked finesse at moments and ate way too many punches for a favorite. He survived rocky moments to get a unanimous decision with very close scores: 96-94, 96-94 and 97-95.


Former super bantamweight contender Arnold Khegai, best known for his dramatic tenth-round kayo of previously undefeated Russian Valery Tretyakov and for the spirited yet mostly one-sided loss to reigning WBO 122lb champion Stephen Fulton in his ultimate fight, came back as a lightweight and successfully outgunned and outpunched Argentinean journeyman Vicente Martin Rodriguez, whose stellar moment - a bid for a vacant WBO super featherweight title - was ruined by future multi-division titlist Adrien Broner ten years ago.

Khegai (17-1-1, 10 KOs) was very aggressive - just as usual - and used multi-punch combinations, which possessed concussive power but lacked precision and sharpness. Rodriguez fought it to the end despite a cut over his left eye, which he suffered at a mid-point. The decision was unanimous, but no scores were announced. Rodriguez had lost his fifth straight. He is now 39-9-1, with 21 KOs.


Former welterweight prospect Oleksandr Spyrko (21-0, 12 KOs) came back after six years off the ring as a middleweight and successfully decisioned game Yevgeniy Kondratenko (5-17, 3 KOs) after six one-sided rounds. Kondratenko was lucky to hear the final bell.


Big, tank-built heavyweight Igor "Hulk" Shevadzutskiy (9-0, 8 KOs) was forced to go the distance for the very first time in his career. He was taken to a full six-round route by experienced Polish journeyman Kamil Sokolowski (11-24-2, 4 KOs). Sokolowski lost a majority of rounds but was able to hurt the local fighter in the third round. Final scores were: 58-56 x3 - all for the Ukrainian.